Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness and Prevention

Emergency Preparedness and Prevention


Preparedness and Prevention Plans are required for large quantity hazardous waste generators (LQGs) by Federal (40 CFR 264.30-56) environmental regulations. Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) requires these plans for both LQGs and small quantity generators (SQGs). The Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) is categorized as a Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG).

The following plan was developed to be consistent with these requirements as they apply to the hazardous waste generation at TMCC.

Design and Facility Operations

Bulk aqueous liquids, spent batteries, ballast and used light bulbs, and other waste chemicals are stored before shipping in the hazardous waste storage area located in the Red Mountain Building, north facing side, room 142. This room is at ground level, is earthen floored, and contains a fireproof locker, a storage locker, and secondary containment enabled platforms (see Appendix A for floor plan). Fire suppression is available via a fire extinguisher mounted just outside the door to the facility, as well as one in the waste storage room. Water is accessible via hose bib at the end of loading dock ramp.

Universal wastes such as spent emergency lighting batteries, spent fluorescent lighting, and paint waste is stored in the Universal Waste Shed located in the Facilities Services Grounds and Vehicle Maintenance yard.

To maintain good housekeeping, chemical wastes generated in classrooms are transported to the waste storage area regularly. Within the waste accumulation room, wastes are segregated according to hazard class. 

The facility is accessible only to the Environmental Health and Safety personnel and Facilities Operations personnel who are trained in universal waste regulations. Others who require access for any reason must contact EHS.

The accumulated wastes are inspected at least weekly by the EHS Office. Logs for inspections are located in the EHS Office and are maintained for a minimum of three years.

Required Equipment

  • Internal/External Communications and Alarms
    • Mobile phone for use as an emergency telephone.
  • External Communications and Alarms
    • Mobile phone for use as an emergency telephone. Additional telephones are available in the Red Mountain Building.
    • Wall telephone located within 35 yards mounted to the wall near the bus shelter.
    • Fire alarm pull stations located inside doors of loading dock in the Red Mountain Building. These will activate the building audible alarm.
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers
    • 10 lb. portable dry chemical fire extinguisher (Class ABC) is located outside the storage room door.
    • 20 lb. portable dry chemical fire extinguisher (Class ABC) is located inside the storage room.
  • Fire Hydrants/Systems
    • Nearest City fire hydrant is located within 35 yards of the facility.
    • City water systems are routinely used/periodically tested (by EHS and/or Facilities) for adequate volume and pressure. The Reno Fire Department (RFD) periodically flushes hydrants.
    • Response to a major fire will come from RFD.
  • PPE (storage room is equipped with safety equipment for the protection of employees):
    • Full-face safety shield
    • Chemical resistant gloves
    • Chemical resistant lab coat (Tyvek or equivalent)
    • Eye wash station/bottles
    • First aid kits are available at the University Police Services, TMCC Substation and in Facilities Services.
    • AED is located in University Police Services, TMCC Substation and various locations throughout campus.
    • Roll-up door can provide additional ventilation.
    • Spill control equipment includes spill absorbent materials and specialized absorbing/neutralizing kits.
    • Containers are available for spill residue. Bio-hazardous waste bags are available for spill cleanup materials.
    • Equipment and/or facility decontamination will be performed using existing water supply and spill control equipment, or by proper disposal and replacement, as directed by the EHS Office or responding HAZMAT/HAZWOPER trained personnel.

Testing and Maintenance

All equipment listed are inspected and used routinely, and maintained in working order. The drench shower/eyewash and the handheld fire equipment are tested/inspected at least monthly. This equipment is maintained by Facilities Operations personnel or contractors as necessary.

Communications/Alarm Systems

Employees involved in all phases of waste handling have immediate access to both internal and external communication systems.

Required Aisle Space

Space is allocated and maintained unobstructed for the free movement of emergency personnel and equipment. Material handling equipment is available for moving drums and pallets. Under no circumstances should access to emergency equipment be compromised.

Arrangement with Local Authorities

Chemical storage information may be required by the Nevada State Fire Marshal if new processes or quantities of certain chemicals are increased. If the permit is ever required, a copy of this permit should be submitted to RFD and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

RFD personnel are offered walk-throughs of these areas as requested to familiarize themselves with the types and quantities of materials they might encounter in responding to an emergency at TMCC, including hazardous waste storage.

Arrangements have been made (by Business Center North Worker's Compensation/Risk Management) for treatment of injured personnel at the Specialty Health Clinic (during work hours) or at Saint Mary's Hospital, Renown Health or the Northern Nevada Medical Center (after hours). Employees involved in accidents that are immediately threatening to life will be transported by paramedics/ambulance by calling 911.

Evacuation Plan

Employees who work in the hazardous waste storage room are limited to HAZWOPER trained EHS personnel and Facilities Operations personnel who have been trained in waste handling procedures and emergency reporting. If a spill occurs within the room, personnel are instructed to leave the area and to call Facilities Services at 775-673-7100, or University Police Services, TMCC Substation at 775-674-7900. 9-1-1 is utilized for any emergencies.

Upon receiving a spill notification, EHS will determine the plan of action.

Because of the quantities and kinds of waste materials generated, the risk associated with a large spill or emergency is low. However, if a release or threatened release is large enough and/or hazardous enough to call in outside assistance, evacuation of a broader area may be dictated by the responding agency.

In all cases of evacuation, permission to re-enter the affected area will only be given after thorough inspection and decontamination by the EHS Office personnel and the local authorities.

Evaluation and Review

The plan shall be evaluated every time it is implemented. Necessary changes shall be made and affected employees shall be informed of those changes in a timely manner.

This plan shall be reviewed annually by EHS. The plan shall be approved by appropriate personnel after any substantial changes are made.

Spills and Leaks of Hazardous Materials

Immediate Fire Hazard/Medical Assistance

  1. Call 911.
  2. Evacuate the area.
  3. While awaiting emergency response, call Facilities Services at 775-673-7100.

Toxic or Hazardous Materials

Toxic or hazardous materials are any substances that endanger the health and safety of employees or the environment. Release of such material is defined as liquid spills, venting and/or re-entry into the air intake, of gases, fumes, vapors or mists, hazardous solids outside of their normal containers, or the release of pathogens or radioactive material. Depending on the quantity and inherent hazard of the released materials, hazardous materials spills can be broadly classified as Incidental or Non-Incidental:

  • Incidental Spill: Spill/release that will not reasonably cause health or safety hazards to employees/students and will not result in any sustained environmental degradation. Responses to incidental releases of hazardous substances where the substance can be absorbed, neutralized, or otherwise controlled at the time of the release by responders are not considered to be an emergency within the scope of this plan. Responses to releases of hazardous substances where there is no immediate safety or health hazard (i.e., fire, explosion, or chemical exposure) or hazard to the environment are not considered to be an emergency.
  • Non-incidental spill: Spill/release that requires a response effort from outside the immediate release area by other designated responders (i.e., trained emergency responders such as mutual aid groups, local fire departments, etc.) because the incident will result, or is likely to result, in an uncontrolled release which may cause high levels of exposure to toxic substances, or poses danger to employees or the environment requiring immediate attention. Responding to non-incidental spills is considered an Emergency Response and requires persons who have had 40 hr. Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training (HAZWOPER) and subsequent 8 hr. annual refresher training to conduct the response, or an outside entity who specializes in emergency response.

Incidental Spill Response

  1. Barricade/secure the immediate area using physical obstacles such as emergency cones and caution tape, or have a person stand guard to limit access to the public.
  2. Refer to the Safety Data Sheet for hazard information.
  3. Put on the appropriate personal protective equipment.
  4. Confine the spill. If liquid, dike the spill with spill pillows or pigs, then place absorbent material over the contamination. If dry, carefully scoop, sweep or otherwise pick up the spilled material being careful to prevent it from becoming airborne.
  5. If the spill is on skin or in the eyes, flush thoroughly with running water for a minimum of 15 minutes, then seek medical assistance/evaluation. If the spill is on clothing, you must discard all outer clothing and shower off for a minimum of 15 minutes. Enlist the help of other persons to conduct the spill clean-up.

Non-Incidental Spills

  1. Employees will evacuate the danger area, and no individual who is not HAZWOPER trained, or under the direct supervision of, shall assist in handling the emergency.
  2. If it is safe to do so before evacuating, employees will secure the spill area by performing emergency measures such as diking the spill, turning on hoods, extinguishing ignition sources, and closing doors as they evacuate the spill area.

Radioactive/Biological Material Release

Do not allow possibly contaminated individuals to leave the spill area if there is a threat of spreading the contamination. Contaminated individuals should be wrapped in blankets or transported in such a way to prevent spread of contamination to coworkers, responding emergency personnel, and the environment.

Injured Personnel

If injured personnel are sent via ambulance to the hospital, ensure copies of the Safety Data Sheets for the materials involved in the spill incident accompany them. Likewise, if an employee seeks medical assistance at a later date, have him/her take copies of the applicable SDS(s) with them to the clinic.

Emergency Response Training Plan

TMCC Employees

  • The internal alarm/notification system.
  • The location and content of the TMCC Emergency Procedures.
  • Supervisors are responsible for ensuring their employees are aware of any work area specific emergency procedures.
  • Evacuation drills shall be conducted at least annually.
  • Refresher training shall be implemented whenever the Emergency Response Plan is initiated or revised.

HAZMAT Handlers

  • Proper use of required personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Location and proper use of fire extinguishers.
  • Location and proper use of spill control equipment.
  • Laboratory safety (chemical hygiene/hazard communication) by the specific department.
  • Safe methods for handling and storing hazards materials/wastes by the Supervisors of the individual departments.
  • Bloodborne pathogens/biosafety, if applicable.
  • Radiation safety, if applicable.
  • Departmental SOPs will include safety and health information as applicable to the task and will serve as an educational tool for the supervisor to use in training new employees.

Other Key Personnel

Other key personnel (i.e., facilities operations personnel, evacuation control monitors, etc.) shall be provided education in the requirements of this and other procedures applicable to their functions in an emergency.

Maintenance of Records

Records of training shall be maintained for a minimum of three years. Supervisors who provide additional safety education should document this in departmental files.

Evacuation Assembly Points

Dandini Campus, 7000 Dandini Blvd., Reno

Dandini Campus and Downtown Reno

TMCC's Red Mountain Building First Floor Plan

Dandini Campus and Downtown Reno

TMCC's Dandini Campus, Reno, Nevada

Medical Emergency Procedures

Potentially Life Threatening Medical Emergencies

Call 911 for all medical emergency conditions or serious accidents. Be prepared to give the following information:

  • Number and extent of any injuries.
  • Building address and exact location within the building.
  • Your name and the extension you are calling from.
  • Do not hang up until told to do so by the emergency dispatcher.

The victim should not be left alone or moved unless absolutely necessary.

If possible, send someone to meet emergency personnel at the lobby entrance or parking lot to direct responders to the victim(s).

Note: In the event of an extensive, multiple injury medical emergency, such as might occur during an earthquake, there will probably be an extended delay in response from outside agencies or the ability to send injured personnel to an off-site medical facility. In these cases, injured personnel should receive immediate first aid emergency care from First Aid/CPR trained employees. When safe and practical, seriously injured personnel should be relocated to on site triage centers to receive additional attention.

Non Life Threatening Injuries

In the event of a minor medical emergency, injured personnel should receive assistance from First Aid trained employees in the immediate area until, if necessary, transport to an off site medical treatment center can be arranged.

Off Site Medical Treatment

  • Off-site non emergency and emergency treatment is available at local clinics and emergency rooms. Contact EHS at 775-673-7100 for instructions.

In an emergency, go to the nearest medical facility (allowed for the first visit) if you are in a location that is not close to one of the approved clinics and hospitals.

Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

  • All occupational injuries or illnesses should be reported to your TMCC supervisor immediately as well as the TMCC EHS Office (775-673-7100).

In addition, if the supervisor/manager is not immediately available, then your next higher authority should be notified.

Further information and guidance is available on the EHS website.

Potential Responding Agencies Contact List

  • Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc.
    1200 Marietta Way
    Sparks, NV
  • Stericycle Environmental Solutions – PSC
    2095 Newlands Dr. E
    Fernley, NV 89408
  • Northern Nevada Medical Center (NNMC)
    2375 E. Prater Way
    Sparks, NV
  • Regional Emergency Management Services Authority (REMSA)
    450 Edison Way
    Reno, NV
    775-858 5700
  • Reno Fire Department (RFD)
    PO Box 1900
    Reno, NV 89505
  • Renown Regional Medical Center
    1155 Mill Street
    Reno, NV 89502
  • Specialty Health Clinic
    350 West Sixth St., Suite 2-D
    Reno, NV 89503
  • St. Mary's Regional Medical Center
    235 W. Sixth Street
    Reno, NV 89503
  • TMCC Police
    7000 Dandini Blvd
    Reno, NV 89512
    Emergency: 911
  • Washoe County Health Department, Environmental Health Services
    1001 E. 9th Street, Building B
    Reno NV 89512
    EHS Main Phone Number: 775-328-2434
    24 Hour Hotline (for use in after hours emergency): 775-328-2436
  • Washoe County, Local Emergency Planning Committee Chair
    5195 Spectrum Blvd
    Reno, NV 89520-0027

Potential Injury Advisement

Description of possible injuries and illnesses associated with an acute exposure to a hazardous waste release:

A release of hazardous waste in the waste accumulation room (Red Mountain Building, room 142) is not expected to result in an adverse health effect due to the small size of storage containers. The chance of a large scale spill is unlikely.

The central waste accumulation room is located off the north loading dock and is not occupied. Access to the room is controlled and limited to only a few trained personnel, who enter the room only to store wastes until they are packaged for disposal (at which time they are then transported off-site to a treatment, storage and disposal facility), or to conduct the required weekly inspections. It is highly unlikely that injury or illness will occur due to these activities, however, as required a list of potential work related injuries/illnesses are listed below.

Hazardous Waste Solvents

The major solvents composing this waste stream are acetone, acetonitrile, hexanes, methanol, and methylene chloride. Safety Data Sheets for these solvents are available upon request.

Excessive inhalation of solvent vapors could cause loss of coordination, headache, CNS depression, loss of consciousness.

Skin or eye contact may result in mild to severe irritation. Prolonged contact with solvents may cause skin to dry out and crack. Absorption of some solvents through skin may result in toxic effect, however, this is not expected to occur in an acute exposure situation.

A waste solvent spill could result in a flammable liquid fire if an ignition source is present. A fire could cause thermal burns to workers, inhalation of smoke produced and decreased oxygen in the central waste accumulation room. Some solvents produce toxic products of combustion.

Cuts or embedded glass as a result of broken waste solvent bottles.

Hazardous Waste Corrosive Liquids

These are primarily 1-5% inorganic acid in water, pH < 2 or non-sewerable basic solutions, pH between 10 and 12.

Splashes to the eye may cause mild to severe irritation, including chemical burns to the cornea if not immediately washed out.

Skin or mucous membrane contact may result in mild to severe irritation. If not washed off thoroughly, acid contact may result in mild to severe chemical burns.